12 Tips to Prepare and Organise Yourself for the Holidays

Thursday, 10 November 2016

As soon as the clock strikes midnight on October 31, focus shifts from the spookiness of Halloween to the cheer of Christmas. Some people are already listening to holiday music. Festive feelings are normal, but you might also find yourself heading into the holidays with a bit of trepidation because it takes a lot of work.
With the right amount of mental and physical preparation, there’s no need to worry. Void your sense of dread and restore visions of sugarplums. If you prepare in advance, you can relax and enjoy the festivities when they arrive.
Here are a dozen ways to prepare and organize for the holiday season.
1. Make Your Shopping List and Stay True to It
You probably have a general idea of who’s getting a gift this year, so create a list before you hit the stores. Armed with a list, you won’t forget anyone while you’re shopping — including co-workers, neighbors and local service people like your postman and favorite barista or bartender.
2. Budget Your Shopping, Too
As you write your list, decide how much you’d like to spend on each person. Some people warrant multiple gifts or presents that cost a bit more, so budgeting it in advance will save you the shame that comes with running out of money or overspending on your credit card.
3. Take Advantage of Tech
The beauty of the digital age is that you can buy almost everything online. During the holidays, online shopping is especially wonderful if you’re short on time. Grab a glass of wine, sit down in your sweats and fill your cart. Many online retailers offer purchase incentives for people who do their holiday shopping online, so your wallet won’t sulk as you shop from your couch.
4. Break Traditions You Don’t Like
Not every tradition has to be your tradition. Take, for example, the ceremonial sending of Christmas cards. They’re lovely to receive, but if you don’t have time to do it, don’t. You shouldn’t be a slave to traditions you don’t enjoy. Some are too special to axe, but if you no longer find joy in something, it should go.
5. Learn to Say No
Much like traditions, you don’t have to agree to attend every party you’re invited to this holiday season. It’s perfectly fine to say no if you’re overloaded. If you need to, rehearse a few “I can’t come” speeches, so you’re ready on the spot. You can also reschedule an after-holiday hangout, so you’re not hurting anyone’s feelings while maintaining your own.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
If you’re hosting guests and they offer to help or bring a dish to share, don’t turn them down — the extra set of hands or additional plate of food can make your to-do list much less stressful. After all, the holidays cause stress in about 68 percent of people, according to one survey.

7. Hire Help If You Need It
If needed, hire professionals to help you prepare. A cleaner can scour your home before the in-laws arrive, and a babysitter can keep the kids while you shop for gifts. Give yourself the gift of ease this holiday season.
8. Don’t Decorate for the Neighborhood
Unless you truly love it, don’t stress over the way your house looks on the outside. Even if your neighbors put on a serious display, give yourself a break: The holiday is more about what happens inside of the home. Love is a little more important than twinkle lights.
9. Plan a Route
Look at your day’s to-do list and determine the best order to accomplish tasks. Research addresses and routes, and progress through your errands in the quickest way. You will save some gas, as well as some sanity as you dodge holiday traffic.
10. Celebrate at Home
One of the hardest things to prep for is holiday travel, especially with kids in tow. Consider cancelling your trip, unless you really want to go. You can save yourself a whole lot of time, money and stress when you opt to celebrate and make memories in your own abode.
11. Stick to Your Schedule
Make a schedule and stick to it. If you start procrastinating, you’ll surely regret it as the holiday chaos kicks into full swing.
12. Schedule Some Personal Time
Your hard work deserves to be rewarded. You deserve some time to relax — on Christmas morning and after everything is officially finished. Get a massage, take a bath, sit down for a pedicure — whatever calms you, write it into your schedule.
You’re going to own these holidays.

I hope you enjoyed reading Jennifer's latest post for me! In case you missed it please go and read her first post for me: 5 Fun and Affordable Ways To Relax! 
Jennifer Landis is a freelance writer and healthy living blogger. She drinks tea in excess, has a collection of peanut butters, and is a super nerd at heart. Find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.

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